Some of these questions are more exaggerated than others. They all dance around the same mystery of our difficult times. Why is there such a shortage of young and attractive great men? Why isn’t this massive break from the past conspicuous? Why is it hiding in plain sight?

One reason is that we have built-in reasons to fear trying to give answers. We recognize that there are still a lot of young men who care for appearances but lack the training and talent for true greatness. Giving them these visions, posing them this problem, likely won’t end well. Rather than heroes or villains we’ll only get jerks: Instead of Napoleons, Julien Sorels.

A deeper reason might be that we don’t want to face the cost of ridding the world of great men. As Nietzsche knew, a world where young and attractive great men exist is one where they become the model, the standard of life and imagination to which the rest of the world bends. In fact they only exist through intention, through some kind of cultural plan, with others sacrificing and serving them as a higher, perhaps the highest, end. But he was wrong to think that without them we’d just peter out into some kind of permanent teddy bear picnic.

We are all very relieved to have put an end to the time of magnetic great men and all its terrible, costly inequalities. We are not so eager to confront the costs of what comes next: Instead of handsome and fearsome young heroes and villains, ugly and despicable violent cowards.